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Signfoam Alternative?

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by MAB SIGNS, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    A few people in our shop have different views on which substrate is best to use as a lower price point. Other than using Signfoam which is the better to use in quality and look Celtec or Exterra MDF? Most of our routed pieces are outdoor use. the primary application would be monument panels. We use Signfoam and I'd also like to know if anyone likes designboard as an alternative to Signfoam?

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
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  2. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Anyone?

    Anyone have any experience to share?
     
  3. openwood

    openwood Member

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    Nov 21, 2003
    I have routed panels out of sign foam,Cedar,redwood and MDO.I dont think i will ever use another peice of fiber board after the nightmare our shop had with medix a few years ago.i am not familar with Celtec.Is it similar to sintra?Can you be more spcefic about the app(monument sign?)What is the average size of the panel and the lettering?Is th lettering raised or carved in?What kind of finish is applied after routing.or are you just cutting the panel and appling vinyl?Are you having trouble with damage when using sign foam.I have tried alot of HDU over the years and signfoam 3 is by far the best product in my opinion.What is the life of the other panels compared to the sign foam?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2003
  4. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Thanks!

    Yes Celtec is another brand of PVC and we spray, roll, or fill paint it depending upon application, We do alot of routed down lettering on panels for monuments or directional signage. I like using PVC over MDF because of the weight difference but it usually requires a backer. I'm just optimistic about MDF and the longevity outdoors. We use the Exterra MDF and also have problems with finish on these. Signfoam 3 is what we use as well, however we recently received a sample of Designboard to test, the problem in the past has been the competitors board required alot of filling to smooth out. Hopefully they resolved this, we'll soon find out routing that sample. We use signfoam for dimensional letters and both PVC and signfoam for flat cut letters. We also use Polycarv on occasion for routed down panels on monuments. We just started using MDF a few months ago so nothing has came back and I hope it doesn't. This is the reason for my inquiry. I have seen your posts and checked out your website, very impressive work! I'm not satisfied unless I know we're using the best substrates for each application and I certainly want to stay away from any that will come back and bite us. Thank you for the response Dale!

    Mark
     
  5. openwood

    openwood Member

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    Dale is the owner of the company.My name is Brian.I have been with Dale for 13 years.I work strictly production,most of the woodworking,sandblasting and installation.I am also the only one that has been interested in learning and running the router table.We do alot of flat and prizmatic letters that we add to our redwood panels for more dimension.back to the subject,as i said in my last post i would never reccomed MDF for signs.We used to use a product called medix(I think it is still produced)for some of our flat panel signs.hand painted with vinyl applied.after a couple of years or sometimes only a few months over 99% of the signs had swollen up like a sponge along all the edges.we were very carefull to prive the signs well,even priming pilot holes and counter sinks for mounting.this did not seem to help, moisture always got in! I stated that my supplier told me sintra was not an exterior product,How does that pvc hold up outside in the sun?

    I look forward to swaping ides and knowledge with you and others on this site.Most of the companies in my area do not communicate much,and my search for sign knowledge is never ending.
    :unclesam:
     
  6. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    I would agree with you on the MDF and I'm just building my case to challenge its use in our facility. We use PVC for temporary signage only however we've had some out for sometime without any problems. Ashame theres not a lower level substrate offered, alot of customers want routed signs but don't want to pay the cost of Signfoam. I'm glad your responding, we need more input on this site from everyone!

    Mark
     
  7. Roy Frisby

    Roy Frisby New Member

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    Sep 21, 2003
    I live approximately 1 mile from an MDF manufacturing facility
    here in south Arkansas. They will be the first to tell you that
    their product is NOT intended for outdoor use. Great for indoor
    use requiring a glass smooth surface, but not for outdoors.
     
  8. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Exterra

    I would agree with you but they do offer a brand called Exterra which supposedly is for outdoor use, I'm still not fond of it which is why I was asking about alternatives. Thanks for the info.

    Mark
     
  9. Lorraine

    Lorraine New Member

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    Nov 17, 2003
    Medite is another brand/name of exterior MDF.
    www.weyerhaeuser-europe.com

    As long as it's treated and prepared right it will last years and i mean years - 10 years

    Warning

    All Fibreboards are Carcinogenic and very damaging to your health.

    Make sure you are in a well ventilated area even better outside - wear goggles and breathing masks at all times when working. For some people it can also be a skin irritant.
     
  10. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Thank you

    Thank you for the information, and health concern!

    Mark
     
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